Pookie & Sebastian-Crinolines, Beauty in a Wire Cage

Pookie & Sebastian New York is a new, fresh fashion house offering affordable clothing that sets you off to the best effect. It works with trends old and new to create an entirely different look.

Fashion has changed immensely over time. Modern women can literally breathe easily, as they are not expected to wear the tight, confining undergarments of past centuries. Nor are they expected to wear enormous crinolines.

The crinoline was first worn in the 16th century, and women wore them for at least another three hundred years. Crinolines came in various forms, including panniers, petticoats, bustles, farthingales, and bum rolls. Each type served a different function. The bustle and the bum roll brought attention to a woman’s side and rear view. Not only were women expected to wear these additions underneath their skirts, they were expected to wear corsets on their torsos, to give the appearance of a slender waist.

Crinolines were made of horsehair and cotton or linen fabric. They caused the skirts of a dress to stand out, creating a sweeping effect as the woman walked.

Not only were crinolines confining, they carried various hazards. A woman standing too close to a fire risked literally burning to death if her crinoline should catch fire. The wide crinolines, with a dress covering them, were subject to winds blowing underneath them and blowing the unlucky wearer off a cliff or other high place. Crinolines, if the woman wasn’t paying attention, could and did get caught in machinery. They could also become entangled in carriage wheels, which could cause serious injury or death. Quite a few people spoke out against the dangers posed by crinolines, not only to the women who wore them, but to others; in a massive fire, several women wearing crinolines blocked the door, preventing the rest of the people inside from exiting the building, and adding  to the death toll.

Nonetheless, crinolines were all the rage, and the London factory of an international clothing company manufactured four thousand crinolines every day.

Hoop skirts created various non-lethal problems. If a woman was careless in the way she sat when wearing one, the hoops would fly up, revealing her underwear for all to see. Furthermore, women had difficulty navigating rooms and, especially, walking through doorways, due to the width of the hoops.

As the 19th century wore on, crinolines fell out of fashion. Skirts began to narrow, though they still contained petticoats underneath, to bulk up the form of the skirt. Finally, crinolines became an occasional fashion statement, rather than a trend. A few women wear them on special occasions, such as weddings.